I was given a weather station as a leaving present by my colleagues in 2008, relieved as they were to see the back of me, no doubt.  The station came with some simple Windows-based weather station software, which was no good to us.  A New Zealander had written some rather good software that ran with most weather stations, Weather Display, and at around that time had released the core engine to run on Linux.  For a few years, I ran that to collect the weather data and write it to a simple database and graphs I set up, somewhat manually.

I then discovered the Wview Weather project, software developed by Mark Teel, and released as Free and Open Source software.  This software is developed in C and runs a series of services, such as data collection, web display generation, file uploads to remote servers and so on.  It has been fantastic.  Using it, I was even able to make some alterations to the awful scripts I originally used to maintain the original graphing and database.  The software was easy to install too, as a repository was set up, and it was a simple case of adding the software through the server's usual software management system,  But the last time it was updated was in 2014, and the software repositories are no longer maintained.  The source code is still available, though, but, it seems, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compile the software on more modern systems.

I can't remember how I stumbled on the weewx project, a few weeks ago (this is written in May 2018).  There is an old saying in the Free Software world about free software being written because the developer has an itch to scratch, and later finds others have a similar itch.  In this case, it was exactly that.  The developers of weewx, it seemed, had exactly the same problem I had, how to keep wview running. From the main page of the weewx website:-

I wrote weeWX over the winter of 2008-2009 for two reasons: it was a wet and miserable winter here in Oregon with not much else to do, so there was no good reason not to, and because I wanted a simple, easy-to-understand server to run my Davis VantagePro2 weather station on a Linux box. I had been using wview, which is a high-performance and feature rich system authored by Mark Teel with lots of users. Written in C, it is an efficient system that can run on underpowered boxes. In exchange, it is huge (45,000+ lines of code), tightly integrated in with its companion library, radlib (another 14,000+ lines), and very complex, making it difficult to understand and reliably customize. I wanted something more modern and much, much simpler

Another beauty of Free software is that you do not always have to start at the beginning.  In this case, the weewx developers used the wview database as the starting point, meaning that all the data already held in wview simply came across to the new system without changes, drama or error.  The data we had would be preserved.

It took a little while to understand how weewx worked.  Fortunately I have a spare weather station console, and could use a spare RaspberryPi to experiment.  Again, like wviewweather of old, weewx provide a repository for making it easy to install the software.  I could easily take a copy of the old wview database from the main server, and get to understand how the whole thing hung together.  In general, the data collection part just worked, but I wanted to alter the web interface to provide similar information to wview.

We live in a place where weather is important, as it can become a significant factor in everyday life here at 58 degrees north. In addition we are off the electricity grid, so get our power from the wind and the sun, so we watch the weather closely.  Having the important pieces of weather information easily visible was therefore part of getting weewx to work as we needed.

The web interface is cleverly put together, using standard tools of the Python language.  Weewx even takes advantage of a python module called pyephem, which calculates many different astronomical functions, such as the phases of the moon, sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset.  The web pages are generated every few minutes using a template, and once you get to understand the variables, customising the web pages is quite straight forward.  I was even able to use some old wind direction icons and modify the script to display the correct icon.

But the one big advantage of weewx is the rather good community that has developed around the software.  Most of the problems I came across had been resolved by others and documented on the web site.  I was confident enough to put the new system live a few days ago.  So now, if you click the link above to Clachtoll Weather, the new weewx is what you will see. 

So all in all, many thanks to Mark Teel for wview originally, many thanks to Tom Keffer and Matthew Wall of weewx, and to all those who contributed to the weewx forums.